Swedish geese rare for Martinmas
On Sunday, Nov. 10 it was not only Father’s Day in Sweden, but also Mårten Gås (Martinmas or St. Martin’s Day), though that’s a holiday mostly celebrated in Skåne, in southern Sweden. You can read more about it here: http://www.nordstjernan.com/news/food/5027/ However, goose from Skåne is getting more and more rare. Cheap imported geese and strict rules regarding infectious disease have forced many goose farms to close. In 20 years, 100 businesses have slimmed down to only four. The demand for geese is stable (and all of them are pretty much consumed during a three-week period around Martinmas Eve. The decrease in Swedish farming has been replaced by imported geese. So far the import of geese has increased 14 percent compared to last year, according to Jordbruksverket (the Swedish Board of Agriculture). ”The explanation is simple: Salaries in Poland are lower than here. So the Polish geese become cheaper than the Swedish,” says Björn Olsson, who manages Viking Fågel, a bird farming business outside Munka-Ljungby. Stricter rules on sampling of salmonella have also made Swedish goose farming more expensive and difficult,” says Lars Sernert, a goose farmer outside Ystad. Sweden has the world’s strictest infection control legislation. At the time the country became a member of the European Union in 1995, Sweden received the right to demand all meat and eggs from other EU countries be tested for salmonella before being sold to Sweden. But when Livsmedelsverket (the National Food Agency) checked the 2012 import, every sixth package had not been sampled according to the law. Among the not packaged goods, one out of three installments had not been tested according to Livsmedelsverket’s requirements. "It’s a double standard that it must be so strict in Sweden, but that you can receive means that’s not controlled,” says Maria Donis, managing director at the trade association Svensk Fågel.

House prices up one percent
The prices of houses rose by 1 percent during the August-October period, compared to the previous three-month period. The average price for a small house is slightly over 2.1 million SEK ($321,000). In comparison with the same period a year ago, prices have gone up 3 percent.